Tuesday, March 31, 2015



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


NOTE: Funding for this service ends on 31 March 2015. Postings will end on this date as well.


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)






[read onine, 162 pages]




The world has made good progress in improving global livelihoods. More than two billion people have emerged from extreme poverty over the last four decades. Other notable improvements include real increases in wages for unskilled workers, better life expectancy, greater gender equality and more widespread literacy. However, a number of daunting challenges threaten to undo this progress, particularly on the demographic and environmental fronts. While outlining the status of livelihoods today, this fascinating report enumerates the main emerging trends which will have a significant impact on livelihoods in the near future. It looks at a whole range of issues: economy, technology, demography, environment, security and governance. This book presents five possible future scenarios for livelihoods, whose positive or negative outcomes depend on how several emerging challenges are dealt with. It concludes with ideas for global, national and local action that hold significant promise for securing resilient livelihoods for all.


Press Release 31 March 2015

Action is needed to secure future livelihoods in developed and emerging economies, says the OECD Development Centre




Worrying global trends include:

·         Increasing inequality as the benefits of economic growth are not shared equally. The poorest 66% of the world’s population are estimated to receive less than 13% of world income, while the richest 1% receive nearly 15%. And around 70% of the world’s undernourished live in middle-income countries.

·         Jobless growth both in emerging and developing economies. The case of China is striking: between 1991 and 2012, GDP multiplied by a factor of almost nine (adjusted for inflation), while total employment remained almost static, and the workforce participation rate of 24-65 year olds fell from 85% to 77%.

·         Jobs are further challenged by rapid technical change and automation. Even white-collar occupations such as accountancy, legal work and technical writing may eventually be phased out.

·         Persisting financial fragilities. Policy measures taken in recent years to reduce the fragility of the financial and banking systems have been considerable, but more is needed to make the system truly robust. The next major shocks may well come from emerging markets, whose growing corporate sector has benefited from massive lending by the global financial system.

·         The growing youth population in Sub-Saharan Africa – where the labour force is growing by 8 million people a year - and in South Asia – where it is growing by 12 million a year - which will become a source of major stress if they do not have enough jobs.

·         Environmental and resource challenges, particularly the expected increase in severe drought incidence. By 2050, more than 40% of the world’s population will live under severe water stress.

·         New security concerns – such as cybercrime and terrorism –threaten livelihoods in addition to traditional conflicts due to geopolitical unrest.


Despite these challenges, the report is optimistic that livelihoods can be secured if innovative initiatives are taken. It makes a call for action at all relevant levels to seize these opportunities:

·         At the global level, efforts must continue to increase co-ordination and co-operation to create the right conditions for livelihoods in many fields, from financial stability to climate change, from international trade to migration, from water governance to cyber security.

·         National governments can be enablers of vibrant societies and a back-stop in hard times. For example, to address the jobs challenge, governments could enhance opportunities for lifelong learning and promote livelihood portfolios made up of part-time work, paid training, and unemployment benefits.

·         Local initiatives help secure livelihoods, for example, by supporting a vibrant shared local economy in which individuals can survive through a patchwork of entrepreneurial and social initiatives involving exchanges, barters and virtual service marketplaces. The introduction of local currencies (also known as complementary or community currencies) for example, could shelter local communities from the turbulence of volatile global financial markets.


This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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